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Women's Cross Country Takes Fifth at NECC Championship

Women's Cross Country Takes Fifth at NECC Championship

Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)

WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Elms College women's cross country team placed fifth overall at the 2015 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women's Cross Country Championship, held at Stanley Park Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore Sarah Tatgenhorst (Winterport, Maine) earned All-NECC Second Team status with a seventh-place finish in the Championship with a time of 21:03. Senior Emma Bernard (Springfield, Mass.) took 22nd overall with a time of 22:54, while sophomore Sarah Kaczenski (Northfield, Mass.) was 26th at 23:36. Freshman Carissa Costanza (Holyoke, Mass.) claimed 33rd with a time of 24:22, followed by senior Jacqueline Quetti (Pittsfield, Mass.) in 38th at 25:01. Freshman Molly Coakley (Acton, Mass.) checked in at 54th at 29:16, and senior Lara Atamaniuk (Brattleboro, Vt.) rounded out the Blazers runners, coming in at 57th with a time of 30:00.

Quetti was selected to represent Elms on the 2015 NECC Women's Cross Country All-Sportsmanship Team.

Wheelock freshman Gina Powell (Granby, Mass.) sped ahead of the field, crossing the finish line in first place with a time of19:48. That mark, which ties the fifth-best ever put up at an NECC Championship, gave way for her to earn the 2015 Conference Runner and Rookie of the Year honors.

Powell's placement helped the Wildcats amass 51 team points, topping the other seven crews by eight to bring home the Championship trophies. Lesley University, a team that had won all seven of the previous NECC meets, edged a pair of crews to take second with 59 points. Regis College rounded out the top three team scores, besting Southern Vermont College by just one with a total of 60.

The park provided excellent running conditions for the competitors as abundant sunshine made for a pleasant day with temperatures around 50 degrees.

SVC junior Shelby Whitman (Bennington, Vt.) led her team with a second overall finish, coming through at 20:17 while teammate and Bennington College sophomore Annika Kristiansen (Keene, N.H.) was right behind at 20:23 for third. Lesley University sophomore Kelly Lynch (Topsham, Maine) crossed fourth and first for the Lynx with a 20:45 showing while Wheelock freshman Natasha Olanyk (Ashfield, Mass.) rounded out the All-NECC First Team with a mark of 20:51 for fifth.

Sixth and seventh place were decided by a fraction of a second, Regis College freshman Andrea O'Hearn (Pelham, N.H.) just besting Tatgenhorst at 21:03. Regis junior Siobhan McLaughlin(Derry, N.H.) crossed eighth overall with a time of 21:21 while SVC junior Schyler McGuire (Mechanicville, N.Y.) was on her heels at 21:23. Close behind was Lesley freshman Nicole Footer (Lewiston, Maine) who placed 10th overall, completing the All-NECC Second Team at 21:26.

Wheelock head coach Wole Oke was selected by his peers as the 2015 NECC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year while each squad named one of its runners to the inaugural NECC All-Sportsmanship Team.

Source: (Southern Vermont Athletics)